May 15: BEST FROM THE BLOGOSPHERE
May 15, 2023
More than half of us fear our retirement plans are in trouble: Scotiabank survey
A new survey from Scotiabank finds that 59 per cent of us are feeling “negative” about our investments, up from just 33 per cent in a similar survey carried out last fall.
Highlights from the Scotiabank Global Asset Management Investor Sentiment Survey were reported upon in a recent Windsor Star article.
“Investors’ top five perceived risks to their portfolios over the next couple of years were an economic recession (61 per cent), rising inflation (58 per cent), stock-market volatility (46 per cent), rising interest rates (40 per cent) and global geopolitical risk (37 per cent),” reports the Star.
The article says the lack of a written financial plan may also be a source of “angst.”
“These results indicate that investors have current concerns about meeting their retirement goals, however, regular meetings with financial advisers and having a written financial plan diminish those concerns,” Neal Kerr, head of Scotia Global Asset Management, states in the article.
The article then creates a link between having a financial plan, and being confident about retirement.
A different survey from the Bank of Montreal found that “52 per cent of women are confident about retiring at their target age compared to 68 per cent of men,” the Star reports.
That same survey found that 73 per cent of women surveyed don’t have a financial plan, compared to 64 per cent of men, the newspaper reports.
As well, the Star report notes, 87 per cent of women surveyed “reported having a fear of unknown expenses,” and 63 per cent “had anxiety about keeping up with their monthly bills.”
“Financial planning and financial literacy are imperative when navigating finances to ensure customers are making real financial progress,” states BMO’s Gayle Ramsay in the article. “With most women reporting they have no financial plan in place, they can start to alleviate their anxiety and take control of their finances by evaluating their budgets, adjusting spending habits accordingly and committing to a savings and retirement plan,” she tells the Star.
So let’s tally up what we’ve learned here. Canadians worry about how their investments are going in this volatile era, but as well, they haven’t planned out what life in retirement will be like so they are worried about that as well. In short, they don’t know how much they’ll have to spend in retirement, and aren’t sure how much it will cost.
The advice we received from an actuary friend as we rolled into retirement was not to fixate on the difference between our gross work pay and gross pension amount, but to do a net-to-net comparison. This was good advice; our income dropped by more than half but our tax bill was far lower. Other deductions we faced while working disappeared in retirement, such as pension contributions, EI, and so on, and our commuting bill for trains and parking fell to zero.
The article is correct in underlining the importance of a financial plan. That plan should take into account what all your sources of income will provide you in retirement, including government benefits, workplace pensions and personal savings.
That’s one side of the balance sheet. You should then take an honest look at the costs you will be facing in your life after work. If your income is more than enough to cover your costs, hooray! If not, you may need to tweak a few things to get yourself there, such as going to one car, or working part-time in retirement, or even downsizing to a smaller home or community.
It’s still all about living within your means.
According to Statistics Canada, 6.6 million Canadians have are covered by registered pension plans as of January 2021. That sounds good until you realize that the country’s population is approaching 40 million.
So the majority of us don’t have a pension at work. Fortunately, there’s a solution for any Canadian with available registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) room — the Saskatchewan Pension Plan. SPP is a one-stop shop for investing and growing your savings, and helping you convert it to income when you retire. Find out how SPP has been delivering retirement security for more than 35 years, and check them out today!
Breaking news — contributing to your SPP account is easier than ever. You can now contribute any amount per year up to your available RRSP room. And if you are transferring funds into SPP from an RRSP, there is no longer an annual limit — you can contribute any amount! The retirement future with SPP is now limitless.
Join the Wealthcare Revolution – follow SPP on Facebook!
Written by Martin Biefer
Martin Biefer is Senior Pension Writer at Avery & Kerr Communications in Nepean, Ontario. A veteran reporter, editor and pension communicator, he’s now a freelancer. Interests include golf, line dancing and classic rock, and playing guitar. Got a story idea? Let Martin know via LinkedIn.